Gary Fisher: Planet’s Approach to Launching New “HiFi” Mountain Bikes

(Madison, Wis.) — The engineers behind Gary Fisher’s new HiFi model fine-tuned the mountain bike’s every part: its never-before-seen G2 Geometry, a first-in-class custom fork offset, an all-new Fisher linkage activated pivot design, and Gary’s lightest full-suspension platform. Then, they turned to Planet Propaganda to explain the complexity of their accomplishments in the time it takes to hold a reader’s eye before turning a magazine page.

Planet approached the challenge with its proven philosophy “simplify, then amplify.” Branding the bike’s debut, Planet focuses on the edge HiFi gives its riders — superior handling at all speeds — then drives home the message with an intriguing comparison to toy slot cars.

“Just about everyone remembers those old electric slot car tracks,” explains Planet Propaganda’s president Rob Sax. “Unless you were completely out of control, you could zip around any turn. That’s basically the idea with HiFi.”

“Fisher changed the bike’s geometry to improve handling at all speeds, especially around slow, tight, twisty turns,” Sax continues. “Gary Fisher introduced his original Genesis Geometry in 1997, which riders came to call the ‘Famous Fisher Feel.’ Genesis 2, or G2, is its evolution. It keeps everything that was good about Genesis, and makes it better.”

Gary Fisher has very high expectations for HiFi’s introduction. Fueled by that, along with previously successful Gary Fisher bike launches, Planet devised an integrated advertising and interactive campaign to introduce HiFi. Sax offers a preview: “The first print ad is a simple teaser, leading people to a HiFi-dedicated mini-site. The follow-up ad tells more of the story, but still in an entertaining way. A banner ad campaign and flash introduction on the main Fisher site also drive people to the mini-site.”

The first ads appear in August bicycling publications, teasing the readers and riders with a photo of Gary Fisher, a slot car track and two toy cars — one on course, one off track. The stripped down images are coupled with a simple message, “Gary ponders the infinite. Veers off course. Has an idea. / The next big thing from Gary.” <>

The following month, a second ad reveals HiFi in the same publications’ September editions. The headline, “Gary Fisher HiFi / A Whole New Way to Stay on Track,” is visually supported with a slot car track turned full-blown mountain bike trail and a Gary Fisher action figure on a bike that can hold the course’s sharp curves. An inset photos shows the actual, new bike; its Four Barrel bearing pivots; and custom offset fork. The ad’s copy completes the unveiling and directs readers back to

Site visitors will be greeted by Gary as their navigator guiding them through the story behind HiFi’s creation. Motion graphics explain G2 Geometry and animated illustrations clarify the bike geek-speak terminology and technology. “It’s all about keeping it fun, simple and giving riders the information they need to make an informed decision,” Sax summarizes. “That and angry cartoon monkeys.”

Planet Propaganda is a design, advertising and interactive company committed to shaping passion-based brands. Founded in 1989 in Madison, Wis., Planet’s national clients include Gary Fisher mountain bikes, Bretford furniture and workspaces, PunchStock royalty-free images, and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. For more information, please visit